“I’m sorry to bother you—oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I know you were on your way. I can tell you’re busy.”
I had no idea where the white-whiskered giant had come from—I’ll have to assume from the exact opposite direction that I was headed in, because we were face to face/glasses to glasses/super-cold-being-able-to-see-your-own-breathy thing to breathy thing. I had my doubts that he was actually sorry and they were confirmed when he said that he could tell I was busy—few kicking a chunk of ice down a dark Bushwick street are—but I was still willing to stop and hear him out. I could tell, despite his lies, that he was a kind soul, really old, and very much in my way.
“Would you mind telling me what time it is?”
I told him that I did, even though I meant that I didn’t and checked my phone.
Not wanting to put myself through squeezing one of my stupid, scaly hands into a pocket again if I didn’t have to, I made that “I need you to know that I’m thinking right now, not staring”/George W. Bush impression face and pondered. I couldn’t tell if he joined me in thought or just looked that way after years of doing whatever you have to do to be in this situation. We stood there, eyes strained by faux-thought/life, until how cold I was caught up with how badly I wanted to independently know what day of the week it was at 7:51 PM and I checked my phone. It didn’t take long.
“Uh, um, yeah—it’s Wednesday.”
“Where are you from? Germany?
I’ve seen the future, and I can afford Brooklyn.